As mentioned, alogliptin belongs to a group of medicines known as DPP-4 inhibitors. DPP-4 is an enzyme that breaks down incretin hormones in the body. These hormones cause insulin
to be released from the pancreas
(which lowers blood glucose levels) in response to meals. They also reduce the amount of glucagon
released by the pancreas, which reduces glucose (sugar) production by the liver.
By blocking the DPP-4 enzyme, alogliptin slows the breakdown of incretin hormones, increasing the level of these hormones in the blood. It is this increase in incretin hormones that is responsible for the beneficial actions of alogliptin, including increasing insulin production in response to meals and decreasing the amount of glucose that the liver produces. These effects work in combination to lower blood sugar levels.
Because incretin hormones are more active in response to higher blood sugar levels, the risk of dangerously low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) is low with alogliptin.
When and How to Take This Medicine
General considerations to keep in mind during treatment with alogliptin include the following:
- This medication comes in the form of a tablet. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
- You can take your alogliptin dose with or without food. Try taking it with food if it upsets your stomach.
- Try to take your dose at about the same time each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not stop taking it or take a different amount without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Dosing Information for Alogliptin
The dose of alogliptin your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- How well your blood sugar is controlled
- How well your kidneys are functioning.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.